Integrating Social Media tools into your NGO Fundraising plan

By Widad EL HANAFI, E-Mediat Morocco Country Director
To develop a fundraising plan for your NGO requires that you follow some basic steps. As you finish preparing your plan and get into the implementation phase, you need to integrate some social media tools to boost your plan and adopt an ongoing evaluation process.
Below are some basic steps that shape the preparation of a fundraising plan:
       Objectives & Mission
  • Define your objectives. Your fundraising objectives need to be SMART:
  • Define your mission/Message. This needs to be simple and attention getter.
  • Beneficiaries: who do you want to benefit, what are their needs: financial, technical, training, equipment…How would your fundraising strategy help them & change their lives, what would be the added value, which social/economic solutions would your strategy bring to your community,
  • Contributors: build Partnerships with donors, organisations, government, companies, and influencers that can help you reach your fundrasing objectives,
  • Laws and Regulations that shape this sector and that are related to e-commerce, donations, 
  • Companies and banks that provide online payment paltforms/services and compare transaction fees,
  • Tools: search & select the right tools for your plan, which tools are appropriate for your audience: Beneficiaries & Contributors
Design your implementation plan & structrure
  • Team: gather a team & delegate roles & responsibilities
  • Tools: Define & select appropriate tools Integrate Social Media tool onto your plan
  • Action plan / fundraising calendar
  • Budget
Donation Methods: 
When you work on your fundraising plan, think about diversifying donation methods and channels. If your supporters cannot use one method, they can use another one.
Your donation methods may include:
- Mailing, print, phone
- Online & E-giving
- Add a Donate widget into your blog or insert a donation form into your blogpost
- Direct donation
- Wire transfers
- Credit card donations
- Fundraising during an event
Implementation phase: 
When you finalise your plan, you’ll need to start implementing your action plan according to your fundraising calendar. Bear in mind that on this phase, you need to keep your fundraising objective in front of you. During this phase, you can adjust and improve your plan according to the actual context and this is importance of follow up and evaluation. Evaluation need to be an on going process within your plan.
Integrating social media tools into your plan:
Now that we have briefly overviewed some basic steps to develop a fundraising plan, we will move to focus on integrating social media tools into your NGO fundraising plan. There are several social media tools that allow and help  NGOs achieve their fundraising purposes. Some are simple and for free, others are more advanced and requires payment. Bear in mind that integrating social media tools into your plan will not be doing the whole job for you. It will help spread the word and promote your campaign but you still need to work into implementing your action plan and fundraising calendar, engaging your network, and evaluating your work.
I always recommend to NGOs to start with the basic tools and once they get some practice, they can them move to more advance tools if they can afford that.
I will be focusing on simple fundraising methods that NGOs can adopt to support their organisations and communities.
Capture-bloggerFundraising through your blog:
When you decide to launch a fundrasing campaign, write a blog post to explain your fundraising objective and mission and insert a form within your blog post to help your audience reach out with you. Google Docs allow the possibility to insert a form into your blog just by embedding the form code into your text message.
The steps are as follow:
1- Draft your fundraising campaign article. Think about adding and inserting photos and videos that are related to your article.
2- create a online form using google Docs for example
3- Embed your form code into your article and publish your post.
A good example of this is illustrated through an initiative  by Nermeen Obeidat, a friend and colleague from Jordan who launched the 20JD= Taxi  campaign  on April 21 to support a family in Amman.
Nermeen Obeidat  explains “when I started this campaign, I was targeting my network of 750 friends on facebook. On the first day, I only got the attention of 31 of my friends and by day 6 of the campaign, many networks got involved, free agents, social and communication  professionals and the level of engagement got increased. Today (April 26) we reached 3500 JD and the campaign will continue to reach its objective.
Nermeen describes the campaign’s achievements and challenges in the following way:
  • Some of those who donated extended the effort into their networks,
  • The campaign was creative in drawing attention to a humanitarian issue but in a simple, modern and positive manner,
  • The objective is SMART as everyone can skip 20 JD which = shisha and a drink in Jordan,
  • Not mentioning how people can donate created some confusion but at the same time offered some flexibility for people to chip in in different ways,
    The first thing that draw my attention to this initiative was the name of the campaign. I saw 20JD=Taxi on a flyer on Nermeen’s facebook profile and I was eager to know what was this about. The name of the campaign was inspired from its mission and objective. Also, Nermeen has also sent a clear call to action to her network which has helped encourage influencers within her network to contribute to the success of the campaign. She also kept updating her network until the end of the campaign:
  Another tool that you need to make sure to add to your blog is the ShareThis button. This will help your followers to share your blogposts with their network.
Capture-facebookFundraising through Facebook:
  • Use Facebook to tell your friends that you’re raising money for a good cause. Create a page for your cause and invite your friends to join and keep them updated on your progress and ask their ideas and insights and ask them to contribute to your goal.
  • Share your blogposts about your fundraising campaign in your Facebook page,
  • Create a flyer/ logo for your campaign and use it as your Facebook cover page and photo ID,
  • Mention your fundraising drive on your Facebook status so that your closest friends and family can chip in and assist,
  • Encourage Dialogue in your Facebook page,
  • Keep updating your audience and sharing your fundraising campaign updates, challenges, and achievements.
    Capture-twitterFundraising through twitter:
    Twitter is an effective tool for your fundraising campaign. Use your NGO Twitter account to promote your campaign and gain your followers’ support. Select the right # hashtags based on your campaign’s name and mission and send regular tweets to update your audience and gain more support by requesting your followers to retweet. In case you start having many updates, start using Buffer to schedule your tweets.
    Capture-pinterestFundraising through Pinterest:
  • Pin your cause: create a board for your fundraising campaign and pin your blogposts, fundraising events photos, logo, flyer,…
  • Encourage your supporters to pin for you and add the Pin it Button to your blog to help your network support your cause when you publish updates on your campain on you blog
Capture-utubeFundraising through Youtube:
  • Create videos to promote your campaign, inform your audience and convey your message,
  • Create videos to update your audience, followers and donors,
  • Create your videos about the impact and results of your fundraising campaign and the way funds have served your cause and community. This will help make you NGO accountable for its work and build trust with your network and encourage them to support you again.
Funds are very crucial to sustain NGOs’ work and support their mission to serve their communities. Fundraising is a process that involves different aspects and techniques. NGOs need to prepare their fundraising plan and then integrate Social Media tools and involve their network to reinforce their plan and  achieve their goals.
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